It's Konami to the rescue as NES Works 1986 winds down

Maybe this "NES" thing has promise after all.

You could be forgiven after the past few months' worth of NES Works videos if you were to sit back and think, "The NES was a terrible idea and never should have happened." Nintendo's first-party lineup was decent, but once the third parties rolled in... woo boy.

Thankfully, 1986 ends with the arrival of a game that makes it all worthwhile. It's perfect drama, really. Here, at the last second, a hero arrives to save the day. That hero is Konami, and their fateful gift to NES fans is an excellent conversion of the first game in the long-running Gradius series.

It's not a perfect conversion. The graphics aren't as nice on NES, the vertically scrolling sections have been constrained (which makes maneuvering through the Moai and Tentacle Brain stages pretty difficult), and you can't carry as many Options. There's also some heavy slowdown in the Tentacle Brain zone. But despite these minor compromises, this is one heck of a conversion. Konami is a welcome addition to Nintendo's pantheon, and Gradius is a heck of a capstone for another otherwise difficult year.

This brings NES Works 1986 to a close. I'm going to take about a year off from NES Works to focus on other systems, but there's some great stuff in NES Works 1987. I can't wait.